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Syrians Attack U.S. Embassy in Damascus (Updated)

10:54 AM, Jul 11, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The BBC reports that Syrians loyal to strongman Bashar al-Assad have attacked America's (as well as France's) embassy in Damascus:

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have attacked the US and French embassies in Damascus.

A US embassy official told the BBC there had been physical damage there, but no-one had been injured. Windows were smashed and a Syrian flag raised.

Earlier, guards at the French embassy fired into the air to disperse a crowd.

The protests come days after the US and French ambassadors visited the central city of Hama, where a massive anti-government rally was held on Friday.

UPDATE: Elliott Abrams considers how the U.S. should respond:

So, what do we do now? Recall the ambassador in protest?  We have two options.  The first is to recall him, citing this attack on the embassy plus previous Syrian misconduct.  The second is to send him back to Hama and to ratchet up his public displays of disgust with the regime and its behavior.  If he does not take those steps, there is no point in his remaining in Syria.  If he does take them, either he will become a symbol of resistance to tyranny (always a great role for any American envoy) or he will be expelled from Syria.  The latter would dramatize America’s final break with Assad and allow us to expel the Syrian ambassador, the wretched Imad Mustapha.  Either way we win.

What we should absolutely not do is be cowed by this regime violence, and ask Amb. Ford to pull in his horns and do less.  The choice should be “tell him to do more or bring him home.”

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